This Week in App and Apple News

As decent app news (apart from mundane updates) can sometimes be difficult to source some weeks, we’ve redesigned our weekly news roundup to give you both a flavour of app and Apple happenings throughout the week. We will try and keep all rumours to a minimal (unless they are highly relevant or pretty much confirmed), as there are plenty of other blogs out there on the Internet that cover Apple rumours in a bit more detail.

What we here at Mac AppStorm would like to focus on is high-quality, accurate and interesting news pieces from both the world of Mac apps and Apple as a company. So, without further ado, let’s see what’s been happening this week. Hope you enjoy it!

Tweetie for Mac has (finally) been killed off

Over the past couple of months we’ve seen a couple of clear signs that Twitter for Mac may be nearing the end of its life, especially given that the last update to the app was over a year ago (on 1 June 2011) and there has been no word on updates for either Mountain Lion or the new MacBook Pro retina display. This week, unfortunately, another favourite Mac Twitter client finally popped its clogs. Tweetie, which is actually the predecessor to Twitter for Mac, stopped working a couple of days ago due to the fact that Twitter had cut access to its API endpoint, effectively rendering it useless.


Tweetie for Mac was finally killed a couple of days ago, as Twitter cut access to its API endpoint, effectively rendering it useless.

Tweetie has been around since April 2009 and became a popular Mac Twitter client. It set many benchmark standards and its interface gave inspiration to many other Mac apps out there on the market (Sparrow is a good example of one of these). It was acquired by Twitter on 9 April 2010 and in January 2011, it rebranded itself as Twitter for Mac, sharing many of the same design features.

At time of writing, the developer’s site, Atebits, was down for comment or any further statements.

Apple reaches a license agreement over the Swiss railway clock design

Swiss Federal Railways, SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen) have reached a deal with Apple regarding the supposedly unauthorised use of their clock design in the iOS 6 Clock app on iPad. The new Clock app on iPad featured a clock design which is almost identical to the iconic design which graces almost all railways in Switzerland, along with other merchandise (such as Mondaine watches).

SBB Clock

Apple’s use of the iconic Swiss railway clock design (left: Apple’s clock in iOS 6, right: the official version on the SBB website) was unauthorised however both companies have since reached an official agreement.

SBB have announced publicly that they are “flattered” that their clock design has been featured by “a brand as important as Apple” however the use of the clock was unauthorised as there was no proper licensing agreement. The company has since met with Apple (back in September) and has reached a formal agreement.

iPad Mini expected to be announced on October 23rd, along with improvements to iBooks

We promised above that we wouldn’t report on rumours unless they have been pretty much confirmed, however multiple sources point to the unveiling of the long-anticipated iPad mini, which is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. The iPad mini (with a 7-8 inch screen) is likely to be a cheaper alternative to the standard iPad and is presumably designed to compete with lower priced tablets, such as the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7. It is also presumed that the event will focus on iBooks, given the rise in popularity of e-books over the past couple of years.

We’ll keep you posted on this story as it progresses!

TweetDeck bumped up to version 2.0, and it’s a big one

If you want further confirmation that Twitter for Mac has been killed, then just look at TweetDeck, which was acquired by Twitter back in May 2011. This week, the app received a massive update to version 2.0 which brought improved clarity of columns and tweets, the ability to change font sizes and redesigned profile panels with images (given the redesign on Twitter a couple of months back).

Tweetdeck 2

The new version 2 of TweetDeck, featuring a lighter and brighter interface along with plenty of improvements.

Users can now switch between two different themes, the classic dark one and a new light one (featured in the screenshot above) and you’ve also got the ability to reposition the default notification window and reduce the volume of the notification sound, so that it’s not as intrusive. The official blog post for the update can found here and if you want to grab this latest version of TweetDeck, then just head over to the App Store.

Heard Anything Else?

If you’ve heard anything else exciting that’s happened this week then go ahead and post a link to it in the Comments section below for the benefit of our other readers!